500 Community Groups Own Land

500 Community Groups Own Land
The National, by James Hamilton


Nearly 500 community groups in Scotland own their own land as a result of progressive land reform policies, it has been revealed.


New Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) figures show that the SNP Government is on its way to reaching the One Million Acres of Community Ownership target by 2020.


A total of 494 community groups in Scotland are now in charge of their own destiny.


Last year the Scottish Government’s land reform measures included an extension of the £10m Scottish Land Fund to support urban as well as rural communities interested in buying their own land.


“The SNP’s land reform efforts enable communities to thrive and make decisions about places that would often otherwise be lying derelict,” said Maree Todd, SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands.


“In my constituency in the Highlands and Islands, land reform empowered the Strontian community to buy their local primary school, and on the Isle of Skye where the tourist industry is booming, projects such as the Fairy Pools car park renovation have received a funding boost from the Scottish Land Fund to help develop the area and help cater to the very welcome increasing tourist numbers.


“Land ownership is vital to projects like these.


“Without it, it’s impossible to make improvements and reap the benefits.”